Could Seattle do without its viaduct?

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I haven’t been a fan of the “tear down the Viaduct proposals.” In general, I’m a big believer in infrastructure–roads, ferries, brideges, etc. They’re critical to keeping the economy humming. However, scaring the waterfront with an elevated roadway is just stupid. Only in America do we worship the car so much that we take the best real-estate in the city and optimize it for motor vehicles. Therefore, I’ve been a fan of the tunnel option.

But there was an interesting article in the PI showing examples of cities that tore down their waterfront highways. Pretty much all had no traffic impacts as a result. Maybe removing the viaduct isn’t such a bad idea? One thing the “tear downers” seem not to ever mention is that it will cost about $1B to simply tear down the existing viaduct. And lets not forget the sea wall needs to be rebuilt adding more cost. But if $2B or so can be saved, perhaps we can put that money to other transportation projects like light rail.

(Via PI: Local News.)

Could Seattle do without its viaduct?: “Can Seattle do without the Alaskan Way Viaduct — completely? Consider the examples of other cities across the country that decided to tear down their elevated highways.”


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